Rallying in Nuremberg…
It took us about two hours to get to the city of Nuremberg from Pilsen, the weather was kind to us this morning, the grey clouds turned to clear blue skies, even though it was chilly, the sun was most welcome.
We were now heading west in Europe, again there was no passport control at the border, just a drive past the control buildings, into Germany from the Czech Republic.
This was our first encounter of the German Autobahn where there is no speed limit, we didn’t felt comfortable cruising along at 100 to 120klms, because we were constantly having to go out into the outside lane to overtake a constant convey of big trucks, where having checked the mirror to see if it was safe to overtake, no sooner were we overtaking a truck a big Mercedes or BMW would come so fast up behind us making us feel it was dangerous to be on the autobahn…
Our stop for the night is Nuremberg, its the second largest city in the state of Bravia the largest is Munich which is about about 170 kms away.
As beautiful as this City is, it is Possibly more famous for The Third Reich and the Nazis’ rise to power and is known not only for its infamous anti-Semitic laws, the Nuremberg Laws, but also for the Zeppelin field, where Hitler held massive party rallies.
Nuremberg is also known for the 1946 Nuremberg trials, where the city once viewed as a symbol Nazi power became a symbol of the downfall of Nazism, this beautiful medieval city will unfortunately always have an evil past linked to it.
We quickly find a hotel, The Astoria, after checking out a few in the area we found most were out of our budget, nothing new there! lol…
The Astoria is located across the road from the old walled city, such beauty and history lies behind those walls, but we won’t have time to check it out unfortunately.
As we check in the manager informs me that if we want to use the hotel car park it will cost us, flaming heck, more money, but once the manager saw our passports and in particular saw that we had been to his home country of Pakistan, he decided to waiver the fee, we felt like we had won the lottery.
We squeezed into the tiny mirrored lift with all our luggage boxes, leaving us barely any room to stand in, we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror ekkk do we really look that haggard…ha ha
We get to our room, have a quick shower then head straight back out on the bike to the Reichsparteigelande (Nazi Party Rally Grounds, which is only about five klm’s away.
The car park was full, but there was plenty of room for the bike, but rather than park straight away, we decided while it was still sunny, we would ride around to the back of the building, taking us past the document museum, which had an odd shaped rectangle building perched off the edge of it, and underneath that was what looked like a steel girder that belonged on a building site, it was in fact a stairway, that leads onto the Documentation Centre.
We rode around the building and came upon a massive courtyard, which was in fact the ‘Rally’ grounds, that was shaped like a coliseum but on a much larger scale.
The Congress Hall (Kongresshalle) as it is known was planned by the Nuremberg architects Ludwig and Franz Ruff. It was planned as a congress centre for the NSDAP with a self-supporting roof and would have provided 50,000 seats, and the building remained unfinished and without a roof as the build was interrupted by world war two.
The Construction of the Congress Hall started in 1935 and by 1937 and 1,400 employees worked daily on the Hall.
It stands with a diameter of 240 meters, 280 meters on the straight end and is 39 meters high. Originally its planned height was 70 meters though, which would have been high for 1935 Europe standards!
The design is inspired by the Colosseum in Rome, that would be why i thought it looked like a Colosseum then!
The inside of the Rally grounds were built in a dark red brick while the outer part was built with large stone blocks.
The grounds were not kept very well, weeds were growing everywhere, maybe thats how they want it to be?
Back now to park the bike and head into the Document Centre, we lock up our helmets and jackets and walk up the ‘steel girder’ and into a large glass and brick hall, with the purchase of our tickets we got an English audio guide, finally after working out how to stop and start it (it wasn’t easy lol) we could finally start our tour, there was lots to read much on how the nazi movement and the horrific power Adolph Hitler had over the German people also copies of the original Nuremberg Laws.
It was chilling to see these documents that had the power to make life unbearable for Jews in Germany.
Many enlarged ‘graphic’ photos, black and white films, it was very sad, i found myself closing my eyes for some parts of the exhibition, it is very powerful and moving…
Back on the bike again, we ride around this vast Nazi complex, which was said to be 11 square kilometres, we now find ourselves on the ‘Great Road’, which is made from granite plates it was originally intended for mass parades, as it was finished after the last party rally, it never got to be used as such, it seems it is just used for parking cars and trucks today.
A short distance away is the Zeppelin field. Where they used to tie up the massive zeppelins.
There has been much debate in Nuremberg lately about the vast amount- €70 million which is to be spent on re-building Nazi rally grounds…its a tough one!
The sun was starting to go down, plus it was also getting cold, so we decided to head back to our hotel and get some dinner.
We check emails and get a message from Steven, we now know how to get to his place in Wurzburg tomorrow, now time for some dinner.
The following morning i opened the curtains to bright sunshine and blue skies, thats a welcome sight.
Not needing to leave to early today was great, as we only had a short ride to get to Wurzburg where we were going to stay with Steven (another fellow traveller).
But, however we did need to get some oil for the bike, so we could do a much needed oil change, so after breakfast we set off to find Clive’s ‘new’ favourite motorbike shop, ‘Louis’, i have to admit it did have some great gear for sale for the motorcyclist, the car park was packed with motorbikes, balloons were bobbing around in the gentle breeze as were flags, all this activity are they having a party for us? No, apparantly ‘Louis’ does on certain dates is have a biker to biker sale of motorbikes, in their car park.
All the bikes for sale were gleaming and without scratches, these bikes didn’t look like they had seen rain or anything exciting let alone parts of the world our bike had been too, i think i prefer our ‘Strom’ even if it did look dirty and with a few battle scars, a few bikers glanced at our bike in awe of where we had been, checking out our drawn red line on the map on the side box.
We finally made it into the store, where we purchased some oil and looked at the great gear on sale, so much more than we can get in Australia..
We also tucked into the free coffee and cake that was laid on.
With our essentials bought, it was back to the hotel to collect our bags etc and onto Wurzburg to meet up with Steven, it’ll be so good to catch up with him, and swap stories of our travels.